This small black box from Proware does not stand out at first glance - it just resembles a minitower PC. In fact, it's a storage subsystem, which in terms of capacity, flexibility and data security, far outstrips the capabilities of a simple external hard drive. The DP-405CI is designed to unite storage space with redundancy and simple operation.
The subsystem is interesting most of all because it can interconnect up to four removable UltraATA hard drives in RAID modes 0, 0+1 or 5. This makes it suitable for applications requiring fast, secure storage space in capacities up to a teraByte or so.
Think of a young entrepreneur who suddenly makes some lucrative deals. He will go from a one-man shop to a small company overnight, and his workstation will of necessity be transformed into a file server. A storage subsystem is a potentially superior place to store the project data, where access to it won't interrupt operation of the PC.
Yet Proware storage is not only useful for redundant data keeping. The DP-405CI can fill in as a backup solution if the purchase of a conventional backup solution (such as a tape drive) is not practical. Connection via FireWire or USB enables easy direct access. However, the use of common backup software is often not possible because those programs tend to access system drives and/or special backup devices.
This RAID box represents a mere composition of removable hard drives plus a RAID controller linked to a Firewire interface. Nevertheless, the big storage vendors do not offer products that are both affordable and easy to deploy to non-enterprise infrastructures. There are lots of DAS (direct attached storage) or NAS (network attached storage) applications for 19" (483mm) rackmount environments, but most of them are $2,000 or much more.